LDAP or PAM pass-through authentication with Hive or Impala and Impersonation

LDAP or PAM pass-through authentication with Hive or Impala and Impersonation

Hue is a server between users logged in their browsers and the respective Hadoop services. Consequently, Hue is seen as a single ‘hue’ user by the other servers.

Impersonation is used in order to still apply the permissions of the real logged-in user. For example when a user ‘bob’ submits a query, Hue also sends the username of this user and HiveServer2 will use ‘bob’ and not ‘hue’ as the owner of the query.


Hue supports multiple way to authenticate with the other servers: Kerberos and LDAP are common, as well as PAM.

In the next version of Hue, it is now possible to differentiate which authentication to use for either Hive or Impala (it used to be a unique common configuration). This for example let you configure Hue to use LDAP to talk to HiveServer2 and Kerberos for Impala.

usernames and passwords to use for LDAP, PAM are configurable in the main configuration section ([desktop]) and can be overridden in each respective apps.

In order to provide better security, it is also now possible to provide a path to a file that contains the password to use (instead of putting it in plain in the hue.ini). If the plain password is not set, the file will be used.

For example, here is how to configure a ‘hue’ user and password in a file for all the apps

# auth_password=

If Hue needs to authenticate to HiveServer2 with some different username and password:

# auth_password_script=

If Impala is not using LDAP authentication but Hive does, we disable it in [desktop] and do not specify anything in [impala]:

# auth_password=
# auth_password_script=


# auth_username=
# auth_password=hue_impala
# auth_password_script=/

Not setting any password will make the LDAP/PAM authentication inactive.

SSL encryption between Hue and the other Hadoop services is also supported


In CM’s “HiveServer2 Advanced Configuration Snippet (Safety Valve) for hive-site.xml” to add the configuration overrides to hive-site.xml.
Adding those configurations to: Hive > Configuration > Gateway > Advanced > Hive Client Advanced Configuration Snippet (Safety Valve) for hive-site.xml. Then save and restart both Hive and Hue.  This should allow Hue to pickup the hive-site.xml changes




  1. Kumar 1 year ago

    Hive in hue takes 2 to 3 minutes to open and once opened doesnt load any databases or tables. what is the error and what logs to check ? Circle keeps rotating at the database location.

    • Hue Team 1 year ago

      This is because of what you said below, in next Hue 3.10 the error message will be more obvious instead of spinning forever.

  2. Kumar 1 year ago

    Follow up (Hive server2 error log for the previous comment)


    Error occurred during processing of message.
    java.lang.RuntimeException: org.apache.thrift.transport.TTransportException: Unsupported mechanism type PLAIN
    at org.apache.thrift.transport.TSaslServerTransport$Factory.getTransport(TSaslServerTransport.java:219)
    at org.apache.hadoop.hive.thrift.HadoopThriftAuthBridge$Server$TUGIAssumingTransportFactory$1.run(HadoopThriftAuthBridge.java:739)
    at org.apache.hadoop.hive.thrift.HadoopThriftAuthBridge$Server$TUGIAssumingTransportFactory$1.run(HadoopThriftAuthBridge.java:736)
    at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
    at javax.security.auth.Subject.doAs(Subject.java:360)
    at org.apache.hadoop.security.UserGroupInformation.doAs(UserGroupInformation.java:1651)
    at org.apache.hadoop.hive.thrift.HadoopThriftAuthBridge$Server$TUGIAssumingTransportFactory.getTransport(HadoopThriftAuthBridge.java:736)
    at org.apache.thrift.server.TThreadPoolServer$WorkerProcess.run(TThreadPoolServer.java:268)
    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.runWorker(ThreadPoolExecutor.java:1142)
    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor$Worker.run(ThreadPoolExecutor.java:617)
    at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:745)
    Caused by: org.apache.thrift.transport.TTransportException: Unsupported mechanism type PLAIN
    at org.apache.thrift.transport.TSaslTransport.sendAndThrowMessage(TSaslTransport.java:232)
    at org.apache.thrift.transport.TSaslServerTransport.handleSaslStartMessage(TSaslServerTransport.java:138)
    at org.apache.thrift.transport.TSaslTransport.open(TSaslTransport.java:271)
    at org.apache.thrift.transport.TSaslServerTransport.open(TSaslServerTransport.java:41)
    at org.apache.thrift.transport.TSaslServerTransport$Factory.getTransport(TSaslServerTransport.java:216)
    … 10 more

    • Hue Team 1 year ago

      This often means that the local hive-site.xml on the Hue machine is not the same as the hive-site.xml of Hive. Hue does not know which authentication to use then when creating a HiveServer2 session.

  3. Riya 1 year ago

    I am trying to sync Linux users (with PAM authentication) with Hue(version 3.9).
    I tried setting below properties in hue.ini.


    Then I was not able to login neither as hue or as any other Linux user.
    Please suggest what I am missing here.

    • Hue Team 1 year ago

      Any log/error you get?

  4. priya 1 year ago

    There are no errors. Just says either username or password is incorrect.

    • Hue Team 1 year ago

      Should have more details about the trace of the error in the Hue logs

  5. priya 1 year ago

    Suprisingly there were no relevant logs other than “Authentication failed for user xxxx”

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